The U.S. Congress Can Act on PFAS “Forever” Chemicals -- Make Sure it Does

Chemicals being mixed in beakers. Photo credit: mediaphotos / Shutterstock

Policy solutions to our nationwide PFAS chemicals problem should be part of the annual Defense Department spending bill for next year – the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House have each passed a version of the spending bill with different PFAS-related provisions; those are now being considered by a conference committee of Senators and Representatives. 

PFAS is a class of human-made chemicals which includes Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances These chemicals are very long-lived, which means that they remain in the environment and in humans and wildlife for a very long time. They are associated with a wide range of health effects and are being found in water bodies, drinking water sources, and at contaminated sites around the country. You can learn more about PFAS chemicals here.

Congressional intervention is a critical part of the policy action needed to address the widespread presence of these troubling chemicals in the environment and their continued use in everyday products like food packaging, in foams used to fight fires, in industrial processes like chrome planting, and literally throughout the economy.

Provisions being considered for inclusion in the final NDAA bill include phasing out military uses of PFAS in firefighting foam and food packaging and including PFAS chemicals on action lists in the Clean Water Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA – also known as “Superfund.”)

Please urge your U.S. Senators and Representative to support strong action on PFAS in the final defense spending bill.

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